When Regina Marquez and Deanna Martinez took their adopted daughter to the hospital in early June of 2009, it was regarding the girl's sudden hair and weight loss.
At the time, doctors at Children's Hospital in Aurora noted the child's previously broken left arm seemed to be healing fine, but did not realize the 4-year-old's right hand also had three broken fingers.
Fast forward two years, and the Denver District Attorney charged both women in early August with a felony count of child abuse resulting in serious bodily injury. In addition to the child's untreated broken fingers, the women are being charged for allegedly subjecting the girl to isolation and physical deprivation.
According to the Denver Channel, the girl's grandmother was concerned and took her to Denver Health in March of 2011. The grandmother said the girl did not attend school, walked oddly, and didn't speak as well as a typical 6-year-old. Police investigated and learned of prior abuses.
In an August 23 court hearing, the 6-year-old child told investigators she was forced to eat meals in the bathroom and rarely was allowed breakfast. The girl is 6, but is the size of a 2 year old, leading prosecutors to believe she suffers from psychosocial dwarfism.
Also known as 'failure to thrive,' psychosocial dwarfism is a description for children whose weight gain is significantly below average. The condition is frequently attributed to environmental factors such as abuse and neglect.
Marquez told the Denver Channel the charges are "ridiculous," and that she's "being falsely accused of things I did not do."
flickr photo via Micah Sittig